Are there network externalities in electronic payments?
Distributional Effects of Payment Card Pricing and Merchant Cost Pass-through in the United States and Canada
Using data from the United States and Canada, we quantify consumers’ net pecuniary cost of using cash, credit cards, and debit cards for purchases across income cohorts. The net cost includes fees paid to financial institutions, rewards received from credit or debit card issuers, and the higher retail prices passed on to consumers to cover merchants’ payment processing costs. Even though credit cards are more expensive for merchants to accept compared with other payment methods, merchants typically do not differentiate prices at checkout but instead pass through their costs to all ...
Credit card debt and payment use
Approximately half of credit card holders in the United States regularly carry unpaid credit card debt. These so-called "revolvers" exhibit payment behavior that differs from that of those who repay their entire credit card balance every month. Previous literature has focused on the adoption of debit cards by people who carry credit card balances, but so far there has been no empirical analysis exploring the relationship between revolving behavior and patterns of payment use, such as substitution away from credit cards to other payment methods. ; Using data collected in the 2005 Survey of ...
Price discrimination in the airline market: the effect of market concentration
Economic theory suggests that a monopolist can price discriminate more successfully than can a perfectly competitive firm. Most real-life markets, however, fall somewhere in between the two extremes. What happens as the market becomes more competitive: Does price discrimination increase or decrease? This paper examines how price discrimination changes with market concentration in the airline market. The paper uses data on prices and ticket restrictions across various routes within the United States, controlling for distances and airport gate restrictions. Price discrimination is found to ...
Merchant steering of consumer payment choice: lessons learned from consumer surveys
Recent policy changes allow merchants to influence consumers? choice of payment instruments by offering price discounts and other incentives. This report describes lessons learned from using consumer survey responses to assess whether merchants tried to influence buyers? choice of payment method. To measure the effects of these recent policy changes, we included questions about merchant steering in pilot versions of a new diary survey of U.S. consumers. Our findings are inconclusive because some respondents interpreted the questions differently from the way we intended. This report aims to ...
Mobile payments in the United States at retail point of sale: current market and future prospects
Although mobile payments are increasingly used in some countries, they have not been adopted widely in the United States so far, despite their potential to add value for consumers and streamline the payments system. After describing a few countries? experiences, we analyze the prospects for the U.S. market for mobile payments in retail payments, particularly the use of contactless and near-field communication technologies. We identify conditions that have facilitated some success in other countries and barriers to the adoption of mobile payments in the United States. On the demand side, ...
Has antitrust policy in banking become obsolete?
The authors analyze the effect of bank mergers on deposit interest rates, using data on banks responding to the Federal Reserve's Monthly Survey of Selected Deposits over an 11-year period. Their results suggest that banks exercise market power in pricing money market deposits and CD's in their local markets.
Explaining adoption and use of payment instruments by U. S. consumers
The way that consumers make payments is changing rapidly and attracts important current policy interest. This paper develops and estimates a structural model of adoption and use of payment instruments by U.S. consumers. We use a cross-section of data from the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, a new survey of consumer behavior. We evaluate substitution and income effects. Our simulations shed light on the consumer response to the 2011 regulation of interchange fees on debit cards imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the proposed settlement between Visa and MasterCard and the Department ...
Checking accounts: what do banks offer and what do consumers value?
Recent evidence shows that the supply of deposits to checking accounts is not elastic with respect to the interest rates paid. That suggests that various features attached to checking accounts may be important in determining the supply of deposits and banks' and revenues from the fees. This study uses a national survey of checking accounts offered by financial institutions in 25 major metropolitan areas in the United States to analyze the effects of restrictions and fees imposed on checking account holders on the supply of deposits and on the banks' check fee revenues. The author places ...
Effect of consumer characteristics on the use of payment instruments
Predictions about a cashless and checkless society have been made for many years, but retail payments transactions made with electronic payment instruments still constitute only a small fraction of all payments made in the United States. This is the case despite differences in cost and despite marketing and educational campaigns conducted by the Federal Reserve and other institutions. One of the reasons the cost differences have little effect is that the differences in cost among payment instruments typically are not evident to consumers, who are charged the same amount regardless of how they ...